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I was recently interviewed by Elizabeth Hardison for the article, “Pennsylvania set up a tip line for school threats. Instead, students overwhelmingly called with mental health concerns.” When I was asked if I was surprised by the high level of mental health concerns being reported by students, I said I was not.

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I often hear fears about the latest online “challenge” that the kids are doing. But many times, they aren’t real or are not as reported.

Over the years, the mental health hashtags have evolved and are ever-changing. It’s difficult to keep up with all of the mental health hashtags as they are sometimes blocked on Instagram or other social media platforms, but when certain hashtags become blocked, others come to life to replace them.

One of my roles is working with youth in local schools. I check in with the at-risk students and try to encourage, support, and guide them. I also help to identify unhealthy digital relationships.

Working in a middle school, I often speak to youth who report being “bullied.” School counselors spend time looking at the scenarios and helping youth understand the difference between being rude, mean, and bullying.

Sometimes I’m asked about legal issues related to technology. There can be many struggles with technology, social media, and crime. I’ve posted a new resources about legal issues and technology.

I enjoy watching young people grow up and find their path; it’s wonderful seeing all of the good things that they accomplish. I’ve always liked recognizing youth that are trying to make the world a better place by their actions.

Standing in front of an audience was never a career goal for me. I had no intention to do public speaking. My last year of college, I took a mandatory public speaking course over the summer when I knew there would be only a few students in my class. So, when I was first asked to do an assembly for middle school students, I was petrified. I instantly put them to sleep.

With every new challenge we take on in life, there is an expectation set before the venture begins. Elementary, middle, and high schools have a handbook to follow. There are expectations about attendance, academics, and behaviors.

I’m sure many of us are telling our kids not to send nudes, but are we telling them not to request them equally?

Over the past two days, news stories of the “Momo Challenge” have been rapidly spreading through the media. This has led to much misinformation, unclear understanding and concerned parents, professionals and teachers as well as frightened children. 

I regularly talk to kids about apps. Over the past year, I’m starting to hear about Tinder with the senior aged kids. Part of my work is teaching them to recognize red flag behaviors, indicators for grooming and not going to meet people in person that they meet on Tinder (or other sites such as Craigslist).

Snapchat just did a pretty large update Tuesday with some new features. While there are some new fun ways to use Snapchat now, it has yet to be determined how the features could potentially be misused.

As we thought, Facebook has made a decision about the “Dislike” button. Rather than one button, Facebook is planning on launching a group of “Reaction” emojis which will express: love, haha, wow, yay, sad and angry. These emojis will have motion much like a gif.

In the last week, there has been a lot of talk about Mark Zuckerberg creating a new button to allow users to express “dislike.” This request has been going on for several years as users would like to show empathy for a FB friend who may be going thru something that is negative in their lives.

In June 2015,  I wrote about apps that allow you “hide” or “lock” your picture on a device which limits access to others. Click here to read. This type of app and behavior has recently been in the spotlight again due to an Alabama prosecutor’s viral video telling parents that the calculator app on their […]

This is a story of a mom who discovered her daughters picture being used by a random man on Facebook claiming that it was his daughter. It’s a interesting read that may make you think twice before posting your child’s picture on social media. In reality, trying to avoid positing your child’s picture on social […]

A question that comes up often during my trainings is, “How do free apps make money?” While I do not have the experience to give a perfect answer to this question, I can link you to this article that discusses Snapchat’s Discovery feature which is a pretty easy way to see why companies would pay […]

During my trainings, I discuss cyberbullying and try to have the audience think outside of text messages or Facebook posts. I discuss meme bullying,  fake chat logs and apps used to send anonymous texts to others. I found this article related to a different kind of cyberbulling that can occur primarily on Twitter. It’s referred […]

One of the goals of Shape The Sky is to bridge the gap between wisdom gained from over a lifetime and knowledge of current technology and trends.

Parents and educators need to know what the law is related to cyberbulling. Policy and legislation surrounding “cyberharassment” and cyber crimes, in my eyes, will have to be an ever evolving entity due to rapidly changing technology.

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